The Weekly Toll: In Memoriam

Since I restarted this blog last month, I’ve mostly focused on policy and political issues, because, well….we’ve been overwhelmed by daily attacks by Congress and the Trump administration that undermine workplace safety standards and OSHA’s budget. But ultimately, we’re only fighting the policy and political issues because working people are getting hurt and killed every day in the…

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Silica Standard

OSHA announced this afternoon that it was delaying enforcement of its silica standard in the construction industry for 90 days.  Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017. Employers are still required to comply with the standard, but  so that the agency can “conduct additional outreach and provide educational…

Manhattan DA Calls For Higher Penalties for Workplace Fatalities

Manhattan NY District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.  has called on  New York State to raise the maximum penalty for corporate conduct leading to death or injury of a worker. Vance used the anniversary of the death of Carlos Moncayo who was killed when an unsecured 13-foot-deep trench collapsed in the city’s meatpacking district in April 2015. According to…

Scott Pruitt and President Trump’s Environmental Policies are Wonderful. EPA Says So.

Like OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency has stopped issuing enforcement-related press releases. But the Public Affairs department at EPA has still managed to keep busy, partly by issuing press releases on what a wonderful person Scott Pruitt is and how everyone loves President Trump’s energy and environmental policies. A few examples: Job Creators, American Energy…

OSHA Enforcement: Going into Third Month with No Press Releases

Below is the third installment of large OSHA enforcement cases about which OSHA continues to issue no press releases. None. (OSHA did finally issue an “enforcement” press release earlier this week, although that was actually a whistleblower case against Wells Fargo, not a safety or health case.)  OSHA has still not issued a single press release…

Trump Signs Repeal of Volks Rule: Workers Lose

President Trump yesterday signed the resolution repealing the Volks rule , thereby permanently removing OSHA’s ability to cite patterns of injury and illness recordkeeping violations.  The resolution, passed under the Congressional Review Act, is yet another step in the Administration’s goal of deconstruction the administrative state, or as the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne explained recently: In…

If Neil Gorsuch is Confirmed, “More Workers Will Die on the Job”

Will the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch be good for worker safety? The clear answer is “No.” Allow me to elaborate. Neil Gorsuch is the judicial embodiment of Steve Bannon’s commitment to deconstruct the regulatory state. Emily Bazelon and Eric Posner argue in the New York Times: “The reality is that Judge Gorsuch embraces a judicial philosophy…